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Brown Backs Minimum Wage Increase: Republicans Stand Opposed

Sacramento, CA — As Governor Jerry Brown is leading the charge to increase California’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, many Republicans are coming out in opposition.

Brown pledged support of the plan this afternoon while surrounded by Democratic lawmakers and union leaders. He said, “California is proving once again that it can get things done and help people get ahead.  This plan raises the minimum wage in a careful and responsible way and provides some flexibility if economic and budgetary conditions change.”

As you can see by clicking the graph in the upper left hand corner, the minimum wage would gradually increase from the current $10 up to $15 by 2022. Small businesses, with fewer than 25 employees, will receive an additional year to make the change.

Many leading Republican lawmakers are opposed to the plan. Local Board of Equalization Member George Runner argues, “Contrary to conventional wisdom, this dramatic wage hike won’t hurt millionaires and billionaires. It will hurt lower and middle class Californians, especially those who live in inner cities and rural areas. Entry-level and low-skilled workers, including young people, will find it more difficult to find jobs, pay for childcare, and eat out. Employers will hire fewer workers and instead turn to automation. In a state as economically and culturally diverse as California, it’s a shame that our elected officials don’t realize that a one-size-fits-all approach to combating poverty won’t work in our state. Not every city is San Francisco.”

Assembly Republican leader Chad Hayes adds, “Today, our communities are overwhelmed by the rising the cost of housing, energy, transportation and health care in California. This deal may help a small number of California’s workforce, but we are concerned that it will hurt many more by contributing to our state’s already high cost-of-living, making the California dream even less attainable for our middle class and low income families.”

A provision in the plan allows for the Governor to pause the increase by September 1st of each year if there is a downturn in economic conditions.